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7 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics Online for 2020

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Great Value Colleges - Most AffordableBy GVC Staff
October 2019

In this article ranking the most affordable Bachelor’s degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics online, we will explore the following types of degrees:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nutrition
  • Online BS in Food and Nutrition
  • Online BS in Dietetics
  • Online BS in Nutrition and Health
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences
  • Online Bachelor of General Studies with an emphasis in Dietetics
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Health Sciences (Nutrition Emphasis)
  • Online BS in Dietetics

Are you undecided as to what major to pursue? Check out our article 5 of the Easiest Online Bachelor’s Degrees. If you are looking for a way to find high-quality, online degree programs for the best price, check out our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees.

You might want to pursue a low-cost degree in nutrition and dietetics online if you love the science behind food and desire to help people make better food choices and live healthier lives. Graduates of these programs typically pursue professional careers as certified nutritionists or registered dietitians. If you’re busy and trying to juggle life and work, too, we’ve got good news for you! You can earn your degree in nutrition and dietetics without ever stepping foot on-campus. In this ranking, we’ve reviewed the most affordable online nutrition and dietetics undergrad degrees.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

To develop this ranking of the top affordable Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics online programs, our editors searched for schools that offered cheap online undergraduate programs in Nutrition and Dietetics. Because there are so few online Bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and dietetics, we simply ranked them in descending order of net-price tuition, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

#7 University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Online BS in Food and Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1

The University of Alabama offers an affordable online BS in Food and Nutrition that will explore the relationship between nutrition and human health. You will take classes like Intro to Human Nutrition, Quantity Food Production & Service, Management of Food Service Systems, Nutritional Biochemistry, and Community Nutrition. Several classes do have a hands-on lab or practicum requirement that can be completed in the location of your choice. UA’s low-cost nutrition degree program is one of only 3 programs in the United States accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which means this is surely a program you can trust! It is important to note that you won’t have all the credentials to become a dietician upon finishing your degree. You may have to take additional coursework to earn that credential. Graduates of the program can choose from a variety of careers in sectors like medical centers, small hospitals, public health settings, community agencies, private consulting firms, higher education, or business and industry. The University of Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Net-Price Tuition: $20,465

#6 Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Online B.S. in Dietetics or Nutrition and Health

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

kansas-state-university

Kansas State University offers several flexible options for cheap online Bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and dietetics. You can choose from an online BS in Dietetics or a BS in Nutrition and Health. The Dietetics path is probably best for students seeking to become RDs (Registered Dietitians), and the Nutrition/Health path is better for pre-professional students who seek to work in public health or gain admission to graduate-level programs. Either path allows for several minor options, including Bakery Science, Human Development and Family Science, Hospitality Management, Food Science and Industry, Business, and more. Affordable Colleges awarded KSU a top 5 spot in the US’s most affordable programs, so you can get the education you need without breaking the bank. While the KSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, this low-cost degree in dietetics is additionally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Net-Price Tuition: $18,002

#5 Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Online Bachelor of General Studies with an emphasis in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
 
Eastern Michigan University takes a different approach to its low-cost online nutrition degree. At EMU, you’ll earn an online Bachelor of General Studies then choose 3 areas of emphasis to design a curriculum that is truly unique. Dietetics is one you can choose, including other related options like Business Foundations, Health and Business, Communication Studies, Social Diversity, or Applied Psychology. Among the 124 credits required, you can expect to take dietetics courses like:

You’ll even get the chance to work with a counselor to create an individualized curriculum that works for you and your specific career goals. It is important to note that this program is a degree completion program and requires at least 30 transferrable credits and a 2.0+ higher GPA for admission. EMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $15,687

#4 University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Online Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1

university-of-arizona

The cheap online Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics offering at the University of Arizona is a BS in Nutritional Sciences. The degree allows you to choose from 2 areas of emphasis. The specialization in Nutrition will focus on how science relates to food, utilizing subjects like medicine, food chemistry, cell biology, and biochemistry. Expect to take classes like Sports Nutrition, Diet Genes and Disease, and Experiential Learning in Nutritional Sciences. While the Dietetics emphasis will also focus on science, it will help prepare you to become a Registered Dietician. Your curriculum will focus on nutrition courses, community health and wellness, disease prevention, food industry, and counseling. Specific courses are Lifecycle Nutrition, Foundations in Medical Nutrition Therapy, and Community Nutrition. For those students desiring a graduate degree, Arizona Online also offers a Professional Science Master’s in Applied Nutrition. The University of Arizona’s Dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Net-Price Tuition: $15,594

#3 University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Online BS in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado’s low-cost Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics offers a degree completion program that completely mirrors its on-campus counterpart. Sample classes include: Nutrition Assessment and Intervention, Nutrition Education and Application Strategies, Food Service Systems Management, and Community Nutrition. The Didactic Program in Dietetics coursework is included in the required 120-credit hours.  Completing that coursework will earn you a Verification Statement, which will qualify you for a dietetic internship. Then, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Registered Dietician. Because this program includes all the required elements for the RD, if that’s your career goal, UNC would be a wise choice. In addition, UNC is one of the few distance education programs that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Dietetics and Nutrition Education (ACEND).

Net-Price Tuition: $14,641

#2 Arizona State University

Scottsdale, Arizona

Online Bachelor of Science in Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio:  23 to 1

Arizona State University offers an affordable online Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition. The program’s mission is two-fold: help graduates promote a healthy lifestyle and learn to reduce the risk of chronic disease. The curriculum will dive into health and wellness related research, one 7.5 week class at a time. In total, you’ll take 40 classes.

Sample classes include:

  • Development of Healthy Cuisines
  • Eating for Lifelong Health
  • Preprofessional Preparation in Nutrition
  • Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • Perspectives on the Western Diet: Food, Health, and Sustainability

For those students interested in entrepreneurship, a unique Food Entrepreneurship track is available as well. Graduates of the program can choose from a wide variety of careers like: Food Writer, Community Health Worker, Food Service Manager, or Food Scientist. Though you’ll be taking your coursework fully online, you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands at a big university like ASU. In fact, the US News and World Report has named ASU #1 for innovation and #2 for online undergraduate degree programs for 2019. Arizona State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $14,166

#1 Texas Woman’s University

Denton, Texas

Online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Health Sciences (Nutrition Emphasis)

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Dallas, TX

Texas Woman’s University offers a cheap nutrition degree online in the form of a BAAS in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition. It is important to note that this program is designed for students who already have an AAS degree. In the remaining credits, you’ll take classes like Food and Culture, Sports and Nutrition, Health Care in Multicultural Settings, and Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle. An emphasis option in general health sciences is available as well, which will also address subject matter like Human Resource Management. The multidisciplinary curriculum will prepare you for a wide range of nutrition-related careers. Texas Woman’s University strives to develop strong women leaders and even provides the state’s only Center for Women in Business. Texas Woman’s University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,324

What is an affordable online Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

The foundation of a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics will be science-based coursework that focuses on food and health. Typically, if taken on a full-time basis, you can earn your degree in 4 years. When you graduate, you’ll become a professional in your field. In short, your job will be to translate the science of food/nutrition to help make people’s lives better. Though the terms are typically used together, nutrition and dietetics aren’t mutually exclusive.

Nutrition: the study of food as it relates to science and the human body. You will explore the elements of food, how the body absorbs food, and what happens to the body when there is a lack of nutrients.

Dietetics: more of a professional study with the intent to become a healthcare professional that can assess, treat, and diagnose issues in nutrition.

What concentrations are available for a cheap online Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

A low-cost degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is already pretty specific, so we didn’t find many concentration options. However, you could see a more general degree (like a degree in Global Health or General Studies) with a concentration in nutrition and dietetics as an option. You’ll want to make a decision on what path makes more sense for you, your interests, and your career goals.

What minors would best accompany an online affordable degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

While all options will vary by school, if you decide you want to pursue a minor, you’ll want to choose an option that will help you in your future career. Typically, to add on a minor, you will take about 15 extra credit hours (will depend on the program), which is about 5 additional classes. Some schools will even allow these classes to take the place of electives, enabling you to customize your degree to fit your goals. A few minors that could be helpful in the nutrition/dietetics field are: education, health education, food science, exercise science, community health, or health administration.

What coursework can I expect to take in my low-cost online nutrition and dietetics degree?

All coursework will vary by program and by specific degrees, but at the core, a nutrition and dietetics curriculum will utilize a science-based education and address key subject matters like:

  • food
  • nutrition
  • various sciences: biochemistry, biology
  • food service systems management
  • cultural aspects of food
  • nutritional counseling

Specific coursework reviewed in the programs mentioned in this ranking include:

  • Development of Healthy Cuisines
  • Eating for Lifelong Health
  • Preprofessional Preparation in Nutrition
  • Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • Perspectives on the Western Diet: Food, Health, and Sustainability

Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics FAQs:

Q: Should my affordable undergraduate nutrition degree program have special accreditation?

Your online program doesn’t necessarily have to have specific accreditation, but if you want to become a Registered Dietician, you need a degree from an ACEND-accredited school. According to their website, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the accrediting agency for “education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered.” Schools on this ranking list with the ACEND accreditation are the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Arizona, Kansas State University, and the University of Alabama.

Q: What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician?

As you’re looking for a career in Nutrition and Dietetics, you might be wondering if there’s a difference between a nutritionist and a dietician. People seem to use those words interchangeably, but it is important to note the differences between them. Both nutritionists and dieticians are considered health professionals and study how diet can affect overall human health. However, a dietician will typically have more credentials and regulation. A nutritionist is someone who gives general nutrition advice, while a registered dietician can diagnosis eating disorders and treat medical conditions on top of giving nutritional advice.

Q: Will I be a Registered Dietician when I graduate with my cheap online degree in nutrition and dietetics?

No, not necessarily. To become a registered dietician, you’ll need to do a few things first. After graduating with your Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to complete an ACEND-approved supervised clinical program, pass the CDR registration exam, and take ongoing professional credits to maintain status.

Q: Do I need a Master’s degree to become a Registered Dietician?

Right now, you do not have to hold a Master’s degree to become a registered dietician. However, starting on January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a Master’s degree in any field for registration eligibility. While that’s still a few years away, it might be wise to think about a graduate-level degree in a related nutrition field. For example, the University of Arizona offers an online Professional Science Master’s in Applied Nutrition.

Q: Does a Nutritionist need special certification?

This answer will vary based on your location. Some states require licensure, and some do not.

Q: Is getting an online degree in Nutrition and Dietetics worth it?

Absolutely. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment opportunities in nutrition and dietetics is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026. With that kind of growth on the horizon, it’s a great time to enter the industry.

Q: How useful is my affordable online degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

Food makes the world go round, and it’s something people will always need every day. Therefore, helping people or organizations manage it will always be a necessity. You won’t have to worry about finding a job post-graduation; your opportunities are vast!

Q: Can I take my classes part-time?

Yes, you can! Schools know that online students are usually juggling a lot more than just coursework. In order to balance life, work, family, and school, you might need to take your classes on a part-time basis. Just note that this will lengthen the time it takes for you to earn your degree.

Q: Will I be able to work and go to an online school at the same time?

As an online student, you won’t necessarily have to attend classes on campus, so working could be an option for you! In fact, most online programs are designed with working students in mind. Look for programs that offer classes asynchronously, so you can complete your coursework on your own time. It might be important, however, to find a job that won’t take too much out of you! Work and school could be a lot to balance, so try to find a job that won’t take too much mental energy.

Q: What kind of technology will I need to complete my online degree?

Typically all you’ll need is a computer and access to the internet. Other programs that utilize video conferencing or participation might require camera and microphone access on your computer. But, it’s important to remember that every program is different. To find out exactly what you need, check your school’s website. If you don’t see the information you need, simply call the school and they can direct you to the right department.

Q: How will I pay for my cheap online nutrition and dietetics degree?

Paying for college can be scary, but it’s an investment in your future that will be worth it. But there are still ways to cut down your costs. First of all, the schools we mentioned in this ranking are extremely affordable. You may still need some financial help though, so here are some things to look for:

  • schools that offer credit for experience, prior knowledge, or military service
  • special scholarships
  • state-funded scholarships
  • in-state tuition rates for online students

Q: When can I start my online degree in nutrition and dietetics?

This will vary by school. Some schools follow a traditional semester start time (Fall, Winter, Summer), while others have monthly start times for online students. Other programs allow you to start when it’s most convenient for you! Check your program details for information.

Q: Do schools offer student services for online students?

We know it might be scary to take online classes because it might feel like you are alone in your journey. However, many schools make a lot of effort to help you feel involved and supported as you earn your online degree. Schools offer student services like 24/7 tech support, online tutoring, online writing centers, online counseling, online career services, and more. Before you make a decision on a school and a program, look at what they offer–and make sure you will have the support you need to be successful.

Nutrition/Dietetics Career FAQs:

Q: What are some careers I can pursue with my low-cost online degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

With a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, you’ll be able to pursue a career in various settings: hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, cafeterias, schools, wellness centers, gyms, and the government. A few career options could include:

  • Public Health Nutritionist
  • Food Label Specialist
  • Nutrition Service Manager
  • Health/Food Blogger
  • Clinical Nutritionist
  • Nutrition Writer

Some jobs related to dietetics might require additional certification:

  • Registered Dietician
  • Pediatric Dietician
  • Renal Dietician
  • Oncology Dietician

Q: In short, what do dietitians and nutritionists do on a day-to-day basis?

Dietitians and nutritionists will help improve people’s lives through food. Whether that’s helping people achieve a food or health related goal or guiding people to the right healthy lifestyle, you will be in the business of making people’s lives better.

Q: What kind of salary can I expect with an online physical education degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, salaries could be:

  • Dietician/Nutritionist: $60,370 per year
  • Food Scientist: $64,020 per year
  • Writer: $62,170 per year
  • Health Educator and Community Health Worker: $46,080 per year

Q: How do I know what career path to take?

Ultimately, the answer to this question will be up to you. While some people are driven by income, others will be driven by passion. Keep in mind that whatever you pursue, you want to love it. You spend a lot of your time at work, so there’s no reason to do something you don’t love. However, always keep in mind that your degree is versatile. If you start working, and you don’t love what you do, just reevaluate. Perhaps you could find another field within nutrition and dietetics that will work for you.

Q: Are there any professional organizations for people in Nutrition/Dietetics related careers?

Yes, there are! Professional organizations are important to get involved with because they can help guide you in your career. You’ll stay up to date on best practices, helpful current information, research, and studies in your given field. You’ll even meet like-minded peers and begin to build a network of colleagues. A few options include the following:

 

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